Like millions across the free world, I woke up on the morning after the elections feeling unsettled and deeply conflicted. With cultural and idealogical walls being erected overnight in record rates, the celebration of diversity - the understanding that each individual is unique and individual differences are recognised - seems to have taken a giant leap backwards. For someone who identifies with every bit of their Asian/ European heritage and Australian nationality, I find this deeply troubling. So I looked for my solace in the only way I know, in the embrace of my own cultural diversity.
Acting on a whim last Saturday morning, I took myself to Sydney's Darling Harbour, where the Philippine Christmas Festival was in full swing. There, I relished the food of my childhood - lechon, halo halo, adobo, pansit - watched colourfully dressed men and women dance the “Tinikling", and became embarrassingly teary eyed as I listened to an often sung Christmas Carol, "Ang Pasko ay Lumapit."
Scanning my travel photos and re-reading old blogs back home, my recent visit to Madrid, in particular Mercado de San Miguel with much-loved cousins, brought a warmth of happy memories flooding back and cleared the cobwebs of cynicism away. For the time being anyway.
As for shorter breaks closer to home, they never fail to bring me comfort and recharge my batteries. Case in point, our 2-day stay in charming Berrima (NSW), which you can read about here.
Indeed during times of stress and confusion, we all have our own ways of finding our centre in the eye of the storm. These have been mine. Why don’t you share with me some of yours? You can drop me a line by clicking here.